Nishan Aghajanian

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Nishan Aghajanian was a noted tailor.

Aghajanian was born December 18, 1914, in Arabkir, Turkey. Being six months old he lost his father, Musegh Aghajanian, and two uncles in the Armenian Genocide of 1915.

Aghajanian, his mother,Mary Aghajanian, and his grandmother moved throughout Turkey and Aghajanian left school.

He went to work in 1927 as an apprentice tailor in Istanbul, making mostly hand-sewn custom garments. At age 16 he and a partner opened their own tailor shop. It soon became one of the busiest in the city.

Aghajanian and his family moved to San Francisco in 1936 and then to Los Angeles, where he worked for Irene, a designer for Hollywood stars, at Bullock's Wilshire.

He, his mother and grandmother relocated to Oberlin in 1938 and he opened a shop in the former Martin's Inn building which later was in the Oberlin Inn Block for many years and drew customers from as far away as New York, Pittsburgh,Detroit and [California].

Aghajanian enjoyed classical music, the arts, history, nature and bird-watching, and ballroom dancing and entertaining at his home. He had been a member of the Suburban Club, an Oberlin dinner-dance club, and Wildcat, an investment club of local businessmen.

In retirement Aghajanian continued making custom suits, skirts and coats for his family.

Aghajanian died September 8, 2007, at Community Allen Medical Center in Oberlin, after a brief hospitalization. He was 92. Services were held in Christ Episcopal Church, Oberlin. The Rev. Brian K. Wilbert, rector, officiated. Burial was in Westwood Cemetery, Oberlin.

Memorial contributions were made to St. Gregory of Narek Armenian Church, 678 Richmond Road, Richmond Heights, OH 44143, and to the Armenian General Benevolent Union in care of St. Gregory's Church.

Aghajanian survived by his wife of 61 years, A. Alice; sons Edmond, of Westlake, and Nishan, of Chevy Chase, Md.; daughters Lisa of Lexington, Mass., and Paula of Oberlin; sister, Anahid, of Beachwood; and six grandchildren and a nephew and a niece.


  • NISHAN AGHAJANIAN, 92, TAILOR TO HOLLYWOOD STARS, The Morning Journal, September 12, 2007